Friday, May 31, 2013

Beef Stroganoff

Mmm...onions, mushrooms, beef, noodles, sour cream...Beef Stroganoff can definitely be described as a comfort food. Late May probably isn't the season for this rich dish but it just sounded good and I hadn't made it in years. I adapted this recipe from the old American Fannie Farmer Cookbook. They describe the dish as "tender beef in a tangy sauce". 

For the beef selection, the recipe suggests tenderloin, which I couldn't find yesterday so I used beef steak tips. You can also use ground sirloin to cut costs. Cut the meat diagonally across the grain.

Serves 4.


  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons minced yellow onion
  • 1 pound beef tenderloin, cut in thin 1" x 1/2" strips 
  • 1 pound Crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • Dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper 
  • 1/2 pound egg noodles for serving (or rice)


  1. In a large pot, bring water to boil for egg noodles and cook according to package directions. (Or prepare rice if preferred.)
  2. Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of butter into a large heavy skillet. Add the onion and saute on low until transparent. Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. Turn the heat to medium high, add the beef, and cook until all sides are browned. Remove the beef and set aside with the onions.
  4. Add remaining butter to the skillet and white wine. Cook down for 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and satuee until softened, about 3 minutes.
  5. Whisk in the sour cream. Simmer over low heat. Season with Worcestershire, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Whisk in flour to thicken sauce.
  6. Add beef and onions back to the pan and simmer until warmed through.
  7. Serve over egg noodles or rice.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Orange Olive Oil Cake

Ever since a recent trip to Tender Greens and tasting their Orange Olive Oil cake, I've been obsessed with making one myself. I've had two failed attempts and the third one tonight turned out well enough to tell you about it. This humble cake is slightly sweet, fragrant from the orange zest and very moist. A great treat to enjoy with tea or coffee.


  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature, separated
  • 2 oranges zested, save juice from 1/2 orange
  • 1 cup unbleached flour
  • 1 cup semolina flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk 


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a muffin tin or grease a scone pan.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs white until stiff peaks form. Set aside. 
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar. Add olive oil, buttermilk and orange juice.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl,  mix flours, baking powder, salt and orange zest. Add flour mixture to egg mixture in small batches until combined thoroughly. Fold in beaten egg whites. 
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until just cake tester comes out clean and edges are slightly browned.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Easy Chicken Enchiladas

This recipe is so easy it feels like cheating at cooking. But that's what makes it perfect for a weeknight meal. Just whip up some Spanish rice and pinto beans for the full experience. Having company? Start with chips, salsa and guacamole and you're all set!

Serves 4-6.


  • 1 store bought roast chicken (in the Deli section)
  • 1 dozen taco sized flour tortillas
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 jar of red enchilada sauce (I buy mine at Trader Joe's)
  • 1 bag of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 can sliced black olives (optional)
  • Sour cream, for serving.
  • Olive oil


  1. In a medium sized skillet, saute onions in olive oil until tender. Set aside. Shred chicken into bite sized pieces. Heat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. To make enchiladas, place a small handful of chicken inside each tortilla. Sprinkle with a spoonful of cooked onions and cheese. Roll up tortilla. Place seam down into a large baking dish. Continue until all ingredients are used. 
  3. Pour enchilada sauce evenly over enchiladas. Top with any remaining cheese and black olives, if desired.
  4. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and enchiladas are heated through. Serve warm with sour cream.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spaghetti Carbonara with Broccolini, Bacon and a Fried Egg

Who says fried eggs are just for breakfast or a trendy burger? When I saw this recipe for a carbonara with a fried egg on top I just had to try it. The runny yolk just adds more yummy sauce to the pasta. This decadent dish always surprises with how luxurious it tastes, I just want to keep eating and eating and ask myself why we don't make this more often. Don't forget to make mimosas to go with it!

I've adapted this recipe from a Bon Appetit recipe Fettucine Carbonara with Fried Eggs. In my mind a carbonara should be make with spaghetti not fettucine. Broccoli Rabe or Broccolini is vegetable with clusters of tiny broccoli-like florets; available at some supermarkets and at specialty foods stores.

Serves 4.


  • 8 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces thinly sliced pancetta (Italian bacon), finely chopped (or thick cut bacon ends & pieces)
  • 12 ounces spaghetti
  • 1 medium bunch broccoli rabe rapini or broccolini, cut into 1/2-inch pieces


  1. Whisk 4 eggs, cheeses, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in medium bowl; set aside. Cook pancetta in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 7 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to small bowl. Reserve skillet with drippings.
  2. Place broccoli on a baking pan and toss with a little olive oil. Broil in the oven for 10 minutes or until tops are carmelized and stems are just tender.
  3. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot, turn off heat. Immediately add egg-cheese mixture, pancetta, and 1/4 cup hot cooking liquid; toss to combine, adding more cooking liquid by tablespoonfuls to moisten as needed. Toss in broccoli. Season to taste with salt and more pepper, if desired. Cover to keep warm.
  4. Heat skillet with drippings over medium heat. Crack remaining 4 eggs into skillet; sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook until whites are opaque, about 2 minutes. Carefully turn eggs over; cook just until whites are set but yolks are still soft, about 1 minute longer. Remove from heat. Top pasta with eggs and serve.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Chicken Gremolata

Chicken Gremolata is a simple main dish that can be thrown together for a quick dinner. A "gremolata" is is a chopped herb condiment typically made of lemon zest, garlic and parsley. This recipe is very mild and does not use garlic. We've also applied this recipe to fish, such as Tilipia which works well with these mild flavors and cooks up even quicker.

For side dishes consider serving rice and steamed spinach with lemon wedges. 

Serves 4.


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 oz. panko (Japanese bread crumbs, available in the Asian foods aisle)
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped flat leaf parsley
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper


  1. Pound chicken lightly to tenderize, season each piece with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. In a shallow dish, combine panko, parsley, and lemon zest. Coat chicken breasts with panko mixture, pressing gently until covered on both sides.
  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet, add chicken and cook about 5 minutes on each side until panko is golden brown and chicken is cooked through.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Huevos Rancheros

We often have Huevos Rancheros for a quick weeknight dinner. It's one of my man's specialties that he'll whip up for us. The ingredients are usually on hand. It's hot and flavorful and full of texture. Make sure those yolks are nice and runny!


  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 corn tortillas
  • 1-15 ounce can refried beans
  • 1 bottle of enchilada sauce (or tomatillo or red salsa)
  • 1 avocado (optional)
  • Grated cheddar cheese or crumbled queso fresco
  • Canola oil
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper


  1. In a small saucepan, heat enchilada sauce over medium heat until simmering.
  2. In another small saucepan, heat refried beans until heated through.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large skiller over heat oil over medium heat. Fry tortillas, one at a time, lightly browning each side. Remove from pan, and cool on a plate lined with a paper towel. Salt tortillas while hot. Drain excess oil.
  4. In the same skillet, fry eggs just until yolks are runny. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Spread beans on a fried tortilla, top with an egg, pour sauce over egg. Top with avocado and cheese.
  6. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Chocolate Rum Cake

How can you go wrong with a description like that?! I keep this dessert in my back pocket when I need to make something quick and impressive. It's perfect for a potluck and the ingredients are easy to keep on hand. This cake is very moist, and tastes great for several days.


  • 1 box dark chocolate cake mix
  • 1 box instant chocolate pudding mix (3.4 oz)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup rum
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup rum
  • 1/2 cup canned cherries (optional)


  1. Mix cake mix, pudding mix, water, 1/2 cup rum, vegetable oil and eggs, in an electric mixer. Grease and flour bundt cake pan. Pour batter into cake pan. Bake at 325° F for 50-60 minutes until cake tester comes out clean.
  2. While cake is baking, place sugar, butter, 1/4 cup rum into a sauce pan and bring to a boil for 2-4 minutes (until sugar isn’t grainy). Add cherries, if desired.
  3. Remove cake from pan and place on a cooling rack, pour glaze very slowly pour glaze over the cake.
  4. Store covered at room temperature for several days.
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